What is a Stock Market Simulator & How to Build One

By Intrinio
July 10, 2023

Stock market simulators are invaluable tools in the world of investing and trading. They provide a unique way for individuals to gain practical experience without risking actual capital. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into what a stock market simulator is, explain how it operates, share tips on how to select the best one for your needs, and offer a step-by-step guide on building one using dependable financial data.

What is a stock market simulator?

A stock market simulator is a program or application that replicates the real-world operations of the stock market. It allows users to practice trading and investing strategies without risking real money, using virtual currency instead. This makes it an invaluable tool for beginners learning the ropes and experienced traders testing new strategies.

What is paper trading?

The term 'paper trading' is often used interchangeably with the concept behind stock market simulators. In the past, paper trading was literally conducted on paper, where investors would document hypothetical transactions and track their progress as if they were actual trades. With modern technology, this practice has evolved into the use of online simulators that automate the process and deliver a realistic trading experience.

How does a stock market simulator work?

To deliver an authentic experience, a stock market simulator must mirror the actual operations of the stock market closely. This means integrating real market data such as stock prices, trends, and volumes. Once a user places a trade, the simulator adjusts the user's virtual portfolio to reflect the outcome of the trade based on real market behavior.

A quality simulator allows users to experience the highs and lows of trading, including placing trades, managing a portfolio, and observing the impact of market trends. The goal is to provide a realistic trading experience - allowing users to place trades, track performance, and manage a virtual portfolio just like they would in the real world. The main difference is that there's no financial risk, making it a perfect platform for learning and experimentation.

How to find the best stock market simulator

There are several considerations to bear in mind when choosing the best stock market simulator. These include the authenticity of the trading experience, the range of available stocks, user-friendliness, cost, educational resources, and access to real-time market data.

Some of the more renowned simulators include Investopedia's Stock Simulator, MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange, and Wall Street Survivor, all of which provide an authentic trading experience and offer a broad selection of stocks for trading. However, it's worth noting that not all simulators may meet your specific needs due to constraints in securities selection or feature offerings. In such a case, building your own simulator can be a viable alternative.

Build your own stock market simulator

Creating your own stock market simulator affords you the flexibility to customize it according to your specific requirements. Your unique needs and perspective on the trading experience may be valuable to others, and you could consider turning your own stock market simulator into a real business. To build a simulator, you'll need a good understanding of programming and access to real-time or historical market data.

The quality and reliability of your data source are crucial. Intrinio, as a reliable and trusted financial market data provider, can provide the necessary data. Our comprehensive offering includes both real-time and historical market data that can be effortlessly incorporated into your simulator via our easy-to-use APIs.

With Intrinio's APIs, you gain access to a broad spectrum of securities including equities, options, futures, and many more, ensuring your simulator delivers a comprehensive trading experience. Furthermore, we provide extensive documentation and dedicated support to assist you in effectively using our APIs in your project.

The most important factor in choosing a reliable data provider for your stock market simluator is flexibility. You will need to display market data publicly in front of your users and inside of your platform. Most large data vendors change steep fees for this that get even more expensive as you scale. Intrinio’s data packages were designed with minimal restrictions -we want you to show the world our data! This flexibility and affordability can be a huge relief for you as you get started building your own stock market simulator.

Intrinio was built by developers, for developers. Our founders were programmers that integrated market data APIs into apps to help traders and investors with their strategies. Since we’ve been in your shoes, we made sure to build out some of the best developer tools in the industry. Whether you are using Python, R, Java, Ruby, or C# - we have software development kits and code tutorials that can get you up and running with our data instantly. This speed of access is critical for any fintech developers that want to build a stock market simulator.


Stock market simulators present an excellent opportunity for individuals looking to learn about the stock market or test new trading strategies without financial risk. Whether you're a novice investor learning the ropes or a seasoned trader testing new strategies, a simulator provides a secure platform to achieve your objectives. Remember - if you are building a stock market simulator, Intrinio has all of the data you will need, and we can’t wait to help out. Message us live on our website or request a consulatation with one of our data expertsto get started with a free trial.

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